The ideologies of any of a number of political movements that demand the redistribution of political power, economic dominance and/or cultural leadership away from what are seen as corrupt, greedy, over-centralized, urban-based oligarchies in favor of empowering “the common people,” particularly those who live in rural or small-town areas, since such people are typically idealized by populists as embodying a simpler, more virtuous way of life based on traditional values and customs. Populists generally believe in the elitist theory of politics as the best description of how policy-making works, and they find it completely illegitimate. Populists characteristically favor strong but fairly selective government intervention in the economy to counteract market forces undermining the viability of favored traditional occupations such as small farming and small-scale commercial activities. Populists typically also favor strong government action to stop the spread of non-traditional religious and cultural values and to punish and repress minorities pursuing unconventional or “foreign” life-styles. Sociologically-oriented historians usually interpret the growth of populist protest movements as a backward-looking reaction against the stresses of rapid economic and technological change and the painful disruptions of traditional values and customs that accompany such changes; however the policy measures pushed through by successful populist movements in order to protect traditional ways of life have themselves often produced unintended but nevertheless radical changes in politics, the economy and society.